Efficient Hash Collision Search Strategies on Special-Purpose Hardware

Tim Güneysu, Chris­tof Paar, S. Schäge

Research in Cryptology, Second Western European Workshop, WEWoRC 2007, Bochum, Germany, July 4-6, 2007, Revised Selected Papers


Hash functions play an important role in various cryptographic applications. Modern cryptography relies on a few but supposedly well analyzed hash functions which are mostly members of the so-called MD4-family. This work shows whether it is possible, using special-purpose hardware, to signi?cantly speedup collision search for MD4-family hash functions. A thorough analysis of the computational requirements for MD4-family hash functions and corresponding collision attacks reveals that a microprocessor based architecture is best suited for the implementation of collision search algorithms. Consequently, we designed and implemented a (concerning MD4-family hash-functions) general-purpose microprocessor with minimal area requirements and, based on this, a full collision search unit. Comparing the performance characteristics of both ASICs with standard PC processors and clusters, it turns out that our design, massively parallelized, is nearly four times more cost-e?cient than parallelized standard PCs. With further optimizations, we believe that this factor can even be improved.

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Tags: Crypto Attacks, Hash functions, special-purpose hardware